Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Weaver and the Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec
Published by Ace on July 25, 2023
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Oddny and Gunnhild meet as children in tenth century Norway, and they could not be more different: Oddny hopes for a quiet life, while Gunnhild burns for power and longs to escape her cruel mother. But after a visiting wisewoman makes an ominous prophecy that involves Oddny, her sister Signy, and Gunnhild, the three girls take a blood oath to help one another always.
When Oddny’s farm is destroyed and Signy is kidnapped by Viking raiders, Oddny is set adrift from the life she imagined—but she's determined to save her sister no matter the cost, even as she finds herself irresistibly drawn to one of the raiders who participated in the attack. And in the far north, Gunnhild, who fled her home years ago to learn the ways of a witch, is surprised to find her destiny seems to be linked with that of the formidable King Eirik, heir apparent to the ruler of all Norway.
The Weaver and the Witch Queen is a semi-Viking tale about three girls both bound together and torn apart by a prophecy. The three have their fates are intertwined when a wisewoman gives a reading at a village celebration. One girl leaves in an attempt to avoid the choices made for her by an abusive parent, the other two grow up together with a shadow cast over their futures. A decade after the foretelling they will be reunited, Gunnhild and Oddney will have to work together to save Signy the sister taken by raiders.
I enjoyed a lot of portions of this book. Three women tied together by magic with the determination to make the sacrifices needed to save their blood oath sister. Gunnhild, will make a bargain to ensure the help of the future king in order to say her friend from childhood. All three women are strong in different ways. Oddney has a tender soul and spirit but a fierce determination. She didn’t know how strong she really was until she needed to save the sister stolen by raiders. Signy captured will eventually have to find a way to deal with the trauma she survived and all three women will have to find ways to live their own lives, but also find a way to save and forgive each other.
The magic in The Weaver and the Witch was one of my favorite parts as it wasn’t overdone and seemed like it fit into the time. I also enjoyed the eventual love story between Gunnhild and the future king Eirik. A few of the side characters stole some of the best scenes and really were almost more interesting than the main characters. Arinbjorn was one those characters, half brother of the future king he is given the free reign to add a little levity to the very serious Eirik. I do have one small issue with the book. There is a character that ended up being trans. It seemed very far fetched in a Viking tale and that character ended up as one of the romantic interests. I just had a hard time buying into so many people in a Norse tale being so accepting of this situation.
I enjoyed the resolution to the story even though parts of it were a bit sloggy. I would have liked an epilogue showing Gunnhild and Eirik later in life together since it was eluded that she would become a very bloodthirsty Queen, much worse and Eirik. It would have been fun to have that confirmed or dispelled to bring the story to a full conclusion. But other than those few minor issues this is a great follow-up to Genevieve Gornichec’s first book The Witch’s Heart.
“Your enemies are my enemies.” At once he recognized his own words from the day they’d bound themselves with blood nearly a moon ago, and a ghost of a grim, determined smile played at his lips. This wedding was for his family, the people, the gods. But these words were a reminder of the oath they’d already taken, a reminder for just the two of them. “And your fate is my fate,” he said.
- Small Miracles by Olivia Atwater @OliviaAtwater2 @SnyderBridge4 - December 11, 2023
- 🎧Road Queens by MaryJanice Davidson @MaryJaniceD @Barrie_Kreinik #BrillianceAudio #LoveAudiobooks @SnyderBridge4 #KindleUnlimited 🎧 - December 4, 2023
- The Witchwood Knot by Olivia Atwater @OliviaAtwater2 @SnyderBridge4 - November 27, 2023